Around the Farm: May 13, 2013
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
T.J. House: SP, Columbus Clippers: W (1-2), 7 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 7K:
House opened the year off with a solid outing, but ever since then, he’s gotten absolutely torched. Coming into Monday Night’s game, he had given up 12 earned runs over ten innings, while walking six and striking out only three. For those that saw him pitch in Carolina over his first two seasons, it was very reminiscent of his early struggles in the system. The difference is that this really isn’t the same ballplayer, and Monday Night’s performance showcased the short memory that he’s acquired. When House finds his delivery and pelts the strike zone, he’s a very good starting pitcher, and that’s just what he did against Rochester. He made 99 pitches, with 63 strikes, and induced 12 groundouts against only two flyouts. When you add the seven K’s to that, you see just how effective he was.
Francisco Lindor: SS, Carolina Mudcats: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, E (2):
The Indians top prospect has been struggling a bit with the stick of late. Heading into Monday Night’s game, he had gone 4-for-24 over his previous seven games. While he had supplemented some of that with five walks, it was still his first real mini-slump of the still-new 2013 season. With his two hits tonight, however, Lindor is still hitting .300 over his last ten games, and hitting .333 on the season overall. His .333 average is tied for second in the league, and he’s one of only seven players hitting over .300 in a league known for pitching. The key with Lindor is stamina this year. If he can maintain this into the summer, he’ll be back in Ohio before you know it. His two errors give him six on the season.
Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Carolina Mudcats: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K:
Admit it. Every day when you check the minor league box scores, or when you check ATF in your daily visits, you keep thinking, “There’s no way Sabourin is going to keep showing up with these multi-hit games.” I get that line of thinking. The problem with it is that after a year, you have to start thinking there’s more to this kid than meets the eye. He’s currently tied with Lindor with a .333 average, and is continuing his moniker as a “doubles machine,” with his tenth double of the year, and his sixth in his last ten ballgames. He has 19 walks on the year, against only 18 K’s, and you just have to believe that his advanced approach is carrying him in the lower levels. Let’s hope he can continue to progress, because there’s nothing like backing an underdog. Of course, if he keeps hitting like this, is he really an underdog?
- Cord Phelps: LF/1B, Columbus: 0-for-5, 4 K: Talk about dropping off the face of the prospect earth. Phelps is only hitting .175 this year in Columbus, and you have to wonder if his brief stints and subsequent struggles at the big league level haven’t affected his mental game at this point. The golden sombrero didn’t help things out tonight.
- Matt LaPorta: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB: LaPorta’s offense has tapered off a bit after his torrid start, but he’s still got six extra-base hits, seven runs and eight RBI in only eight games. Yeah, it’s too little, too late, but you do like to see guys that don’t quit, and it’s clear that LaPorta still has a lot to prove.
- Omir Santos: C, Columbus: 2-for-3, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Santos may be the hottest player on the team right now. He’s 14-34 over his last ten games, has hits in eight of his last ten, and has a .412/.487/.529 slash over that stretch.
- Preston Guilmet: Closer, Columbus: S (12): 1 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K: Guilmet got the save, but there are a lot of crooked numbers in his line. Guilmet will have games like this, but the key to his success going forward will be separation. He has to avoid bunching games like this together. He’s now given up four earned runs over his last 3 1/3.
- Justin Toole: 2B, Akron: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: You never know where Justin Toole is going to show up in the organization. The defensive utility whiz moves through the organization whenever there’s a need to fill a hole, and he generally plays solid baseball. He’s hitting .423 in his eight game stint with the Aeros, and has hits in every game except for when he game in as a defensive replacement on Sunday night.
- Carlos Moncrief: RF, Akron: 2-for-5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Once again, Moncrief continues his hot streak while I cover his ATF’s with another multi-hit performance. He’s 8-for-16 over my last four games of coverage. Over his last ten overall, he’s hitting .289, with three runs, three doubles, a homer and five RBI.
- Kyle Bellows: DH, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 K: Bellows is 4-for-8 over his last two games, and is hitting the ball well in 2013 after an injury-plagued 2012 that saw him play in only 59 games.
- Matt Packer: SP, Akron: L (1-5), 5 2/3 IP, 11 H, 5 R/4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: When you give up 11 hits in less than six innings of work, you really aren’t going to be successful. What’s moderately amazing is that he only gave up five runs. Packer’s pitched better than his record would suggest, but has really been up and down. He’s been so hittable though, giving up 58 hits in 42 innings. When you throw in the 17 walks against only 22 K’s, you can see the struggle.
- Austin Adams: RP, Akron: 2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 K: Great outing for Adams, who really is pitching extremely well in his return from injury. In his nine games back, he’s pitched in 12 2/3 innings, striking out 21, against only six walks and nine hits. Outstanding stuff, really, and you have to start including Adams in your top-end relief discussion at this point going forward.
- Jordan Smith: RF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K: There isn’t a hotter hitter for the Mudcats than Jordan Smith. Over his last six games, he’s had two hits in five of them, scored four runs, hit four doubles and driven in five runs. He’s 10-for-19 during that stretch, and those worried about his slow start can breathe a sigh of relief. He’s struggled in the extra-base hit department, but his two doubles tonight are a good sign.
- Nick Pasquale: SP, Carolina: L (0-1), 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K: Pasquale made his debut for Carolina after a solid start to the year with Lake County. He struggled in his opening volley for the Muddies, but it will be interesting to see what happens once he gets his legs under him.
- Enosil Tejeda and Michael Goodnight: 1 IP each, 3 K each: You have to love reliever lines when they go one inning with three K’s and nothing else. It’s not often you see it twice in one High A game, but it happened tonight. Unfortunately, the Mudcats still lost, but what can you do.
- Lake County Offense: 3-for-30, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K: Lake County has managed five hits in two games. I really should just leave it there, as they just aren’t putting the wood to the ball. But here’s the one positive. All three hits were extra-base hits…so there’s that.
- Josh Martin: RP, Lake County: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER: Martin’s been pretty solid of late, giving up only two earned runs over his last four ballgames, totaling 10 2/3 innings. He’s struck out four during that stretch, giving up only one walk.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.